In the year which marks the 40th anniversary of the South Atlantic conflict, and thanks to the kind offices of the owners of her surviving sister locomotive 45596 Bahamas, Jubilee class locomotive 45606 “Falkland Islands” lives again! Built-in 1935 and withdrawn on 27th June 1964 from 10A Carnforth, 45606 was eventually scrapped on 28/02/1965.
In tribute to those who took part in the conflict and to remember the fallen from all sides, the locomotive was renamed and renumbered in a ceremony held on Thursday, September 22nd 2022, at Swanage Station, Dorset. The loco arrived earlier in the day, having worked an RTC charter from London, Victoria. During the servicing break, the new “Falkland Islands” nameplates, cast from the original, were fitted to the locomotive and unveiled on the platform in a large crowd of people. The original intention was to have a large service presence, with the nameplates being unveiled by Falklands Veterans. Still, the fates conspired to see the ceremony cancelled on three previous occasions and this occasion, it was not possible.
Following the unveiling ceremony, the locomotive worked a trip to London Victoria as part of its itinerary and, it is hoped, will continue to carry the name as a tribute until it returns North, following its RTC rail tour appearance at London Victoria on very fittingly, the 11th of November. The nameplates will then be removed, and one of them will be donated, along with a certificate of authenticity, to the RMA-TRMC (The Royal Marines Association – The Royal Marines Charity) for auction at its annual Charity fundraiser.
Keith Whitmore, Chairman of Bahamas Locomotive Society said “We are delighted to be able to facilitate a commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands conflict and to remember the fallen on both sides of the conflict. We have never before allowed 45596 Bahamas to change identity, but we consider it important to remember the fallen along with the veterans from this conflict; as a one-off, our loco will carry the identity of long scrapped sister LMS Jubilee Class locomotive 45606 Falklands Islands”.
Images courtesy of © Andrew P.M. Wright